An Insider Looks at UNESCO's Problems

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An Insider Looks at UNESCO's Problems

July 9, 1984 21 min read Download Report
Edward L.

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364 July 9, 1984 i AN INSIDER LOOKS AT UNESCO's PROBLEMS INTRODUCTION 0 It a staff atomized by suspicion and fear 0 Itprofes sional functionalism and.its derived lines of author 0 Directors, some of whom cannot direct, while others, who 0 GI 0 'Ifinancia1 and administrative officials who attempt to apply ity threatened with overall collapsei1 could, are paralyzed by unyielding c entralization of powervt It despoliation through the willful destruction of profes sionalismll an atmosphere of cynical hilarity demagogic disregard for orderly proceduresll the rules are regularly overriddentt These judgments are the latest in a mounting indictment of the management of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. They are not made by the Ilreactionaryl Western'press, or by the Reagan Administration, but are contained in a revealing document written by someone who has worked in the UNESCO.Secretariat for over 30 years. He is Peter Lengyel, an Australian who joined UNESCO in 19

53. For the last 22 years he has been editor-of The International Social Science Journal, one of UNESCO's oldest and most resDected Dublicati ons. For a time he acted as the Director of the- Division of International Develop ment of Social Science for UNESCO thhorganX-zation to which he has devoted almost all of his profes 30th of May, he wrote to the Director General, Amadou-Mahtar MtBow, spel l ing out his reasons for doing so. This letter is reproduced in its entirety as an appendix to this study Earlier this year, distressed by what has been happening to sional life, Lengyel decided to resign from UNESCO, and on the 2 Mr. Lengyel's letter is o f importance for several reasons 1) When the U.S. Government announced that it intended to withdraw from UNESCO at the end of 1984, one of the reasons it gave for doing so was that the organization is very badly mis managed charge of mismanagement is exagg e rated or that it is too general and unspecific 3) Lengyel's experience within UNESCOfs bureaucracy is almost without parallel. He thus provides an insiderls detailed personal account 4) Lengyel is in no way prompted by ideological or political considerati o ns and restricts himself entirely to management issues 2) Some critics of that decision have suggested that the THE DESTRUCTION OF PROFESSIONALISM Peter Lengyel writes throughout .as an international civil servant appalled by what he describes as !#the .d e spoliation and the destruction of professionalism.11 As he points out, UNESCO was founded as one of the specialized agencies of the U.N. system and its founders were concerned to protect it as such. They emphasized distinct functions by carefully delimina t ing areas of competence, and this was reflected in the constitution, the struc tures, the staffing patterns, and.recruitment procedures of UNESCO He asserts that these safeguards to UNESCO1s functional core now largely have been destroyed of ways: llposts left vacant for prolonged periods resulting in a variety of unsettling stop-gap arrangements, recruitment by favoritism or the application of certain narrow geographical criteria to the detriment of specific skill requirements, absence of concern for orde r ly succession, the by-passing of the establish ed hierarchy.via parallel cohorts of lco-ordinatorsf, shadowy advisers and grey eminences, junior officials. vested with myster ious personal powers, consultants foisted 'onto divisions which have neither ask e d for them nor know how to employ them, arbitrary promotions, temporary situations never regularized and so on As a result of this, Lengyel believes that professional function alism and the orderly lines of authority deriving from it are threatened with o v erall collapse.i1 One particular aspect to which he draws attention is the deliberate effort to destroy the institutional memory and cumula tive wisdom of the organization by discriminating against those with long experience and a knowledge of its traditi o ns usually done in'the name of llinnovation,ll is a familiar and necessary tactic for those engaged in the destruction of an institution So is another strategem to which he refers: that of "divide and rule" by which officers are played off against each ot h er, "busy rumor-millsll substituted for a flow of reliable information, the creation of institutionalized insecurity by the This has happened in a number This 3 use of short-term contracts, and the establishment of a second tame staff association (a Ilbos s 's unionit) to use against the original one THE SOCIAL SCIENCE SECTOR Lengyel details his general charges by giving a particular account of the recent events and trends in the Social Science Sector in which he worked. His account of how programs are devis ed is particularly shocking-and significant, given that it is sometimes claimed that, despite the Itrhetoric of UNESCO Conferences, the Itreall' work as represented by programs is sound.

Second Medium-Term Plan (supposedly the master plan for the next six years) were drawn up by 'la hand-picked caucus (excluding the majority of division directors and programme specialists).l had two results: first, it led to the resignation in.protest of the Director and two other officers of the Division of Human Rights a n d Peace within the Sector (a very important consequence given the controversial nature of UNESCO's handling of human rights issues); second, it produced a disgraceful result in terms of the actual program. Writes Lengyel Many texts read as if UNESCO had b e en afflicted with collective amnesia: sentences are artlessly stitched together with a careful eye to low common denominators, the elaboration of self-cancelling platitudes and the enunciation of unsubstantiated assertions an amateurish presentation of th i s caliber can hardly command respect in informed circles According to Lengyel, the Social Science programs for UNESCO's This The. drawing up of the draft program and budget for 1984-1985 was even more distressing cynical hilarity" in response to the Direc t or General's urging to be I1imaginative1'--at a time when the major donor countries (and especially the U.S were pleading for restraint and self discipline The resulting scramble resembled a riotous auction in which each participant throws miscellaneous h eirlooms up for sale in the hope of attracting fabulous bids, with wild speculation on budgets sometimes running into hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Things are just as bad in the execution of programs ing on his own experience as editor of a major UNES CO publication he speaks of 0 the increasing obstruction of editorial autonomy by a notori ously incompetent and conspiratorial M'Bow appointee 0 the precipitate decline of translation and production services in terms of both quality and punctuality It wa s prepared in Itan atmosphere of Concentrat 0 falling circulation 0 the dissipation of financial reserves, so that a Publication Fund which a few years ago had assets of several million dollars is now in heavy deficit. 4 By the end of his 22 years as edito r , Lengyel declares himself to have been Ilmortifiedll to have been in charge of such an operation. More generally, he describes a situation which explains why the UNESCO Secretariat has become so thoroughly demoralized Directors, some of whom cannot direc t , while others who could, are paralyzed by unyielding centralization of power, program specialists whose expert advice is ignored, financial and administrative officials whose attempts to apply the rules are regularly overridden technicians deprived of to o ls, secretaries enervated by recurrent panics Managerial practices contravene the most elementary principles CONCLUSION Peter Lengyel concludes by saying that the revival of the Secretariat Ilrequires the healing of wounds left not only by despoliation an d the destruction of professionalism but also the reestablishment of confidence amongst a staff atomized by suspicion and fear."

That is indubitably true. But the question is: How can such a revival be achieved On this, current opinion divides sharply. On the one hand, there are those who argue for "working within"--that is, essentially, for negotiating with Director General M'Bow and the Third World-Soviet majority that sustains him to bring about improvements and reforms. On the other hand there are thos e who believe that, as long as Mr. M'Bow remains as Director General, real reform is unattainable A precondition for such reform may well be to remove him and to replace him with a person of proved ability and stature.

On this question there is no doubt wh ere Peter Lenbyel stands That the self-same regime under which all this had happened should now--under duress-come forward as an active agent of reform by Irestructurationl and the redeployment of human resources must strain the credulity of many report o n the management of UNESCO report will consider the evidence provided by Peter Lengyel and others like him. Their labor inside UNESCO over the years quali fies them to speak Currently the U.S. General Accounting Office is preparing a It is to be hoped that this Owen Harries John M. Olin Fellow Owen Harries served from February 1982 to August 1983 as Australia's Ambassador to UNESCO.

APPENDIX On the following pages is the complete text of Peter Lengyel's letter of May 30 1984, to Director General of UNESCO, Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow united nations educational, scientific and cultural organization organisation des nations unies pour l'kducation, la science et la rtfcrcnx SH S/SES/PL culture 30 May 198 Dear Director-General It. appesrs to have become a rule for the resignation of senior or longserving Unesco officials to be treated as no more then a routine administrative incident.

Such was- the attitude adopted to several colleagues who recently resigned, as in the three .months since I sent'in my own notice. E'obod y in the hierarchy above the qvisional level has troubled to enquire why I might have taken this decisior nor, more pertinently, how continuity for my responsibilities might be enviseged in particular for the International Sociel Science Journal, one of U n esco3 oldest quarterlies which I have edired these past 22 years. I interpret this indifference to be part and parcel of the wider. refusal by the Organization's leadership tc entertain any meaningful dialogue with the body of the staff. Following the pub l ic out'cry concerning the internal administration of Unesco and your own responses to interviews it may also be an attempt to demonstrate that, except for the agitatior of a few malcontents, the Secreteriat is functioning quite normally. In comrnunichting to you the rsasons for my resignbtion, drawing upon recent personal experiences!

I believe that I can indicate this to be by no means so. At any rate, the Secretariat's currently widespread mood of dejection and disaffection is certainly evpressec perfectly clearly by the numberless colleagues who have so warmly con,cratulztet me on l e aving it Let me state unequivocally at the outset that my resignation is in no we prompted; by ideological or so-called "politicd" considerations if these are understock to represent policy orientations. I understand it to be the duty of inte,rn&tiond civ i l servants to carry out the directives of the General, Conference and of yoursel as the chief executive in both letter and spirit within the area of competence assigned to them in their post descriptions. Personally, I never- had any fundamentd difficulty in accepting that b hly dissent erises from dereliction in the counterpart of this duty, that is to say the obligation implicitly incumbent upon the Organization and its leaders to maintain a structural environment and moral climate shielding the integrit y of officials and enabling them to function in ways congruent both with the specific9tions of their posts and with accepted norms, ethics and values in external For Unesco is not self-conteined it is an open public institution which constantly interacts o r ganically with the worlc et large, judged by the reputation it thus acquires. Of late, its performance her generally become so deficient that one cm, without exaggeration, refer to the despo1iatiC)n of an Organization formerly held in high esteem. proff%s Sonal communi ties or technical services.

An Orgdzath despa iled page 2 By no means .coincidentally Unesco is amongst the Specialised Agencies of the UN family, the founders of which clearly sought to emphasise distinct functionalisms by carefully delimina ting their areas of competence. This is reflected in their constitutions, structures and in the staffing patterns based upon posts with precise specifications, recruitment procedures designed to at tract profiled skills and manning by llprogramme speciali s ts While this post system has indeed caused many difficulties and inflexibilities, being at the base of numerous anomalies including the virtual absence of a coherent careers policy and the maintenance of too large a percentage of the staff on fixed-term contracts, particularly at Unesco it was conceived as a bulwark to protect the Organizations' functional cores from turbulence and irrelevance of all sorts, and seems to.have worked quite well to this effect in several of Unesco's sister agencies.

Within U nesco, especially over the past 5 to 6 years, however, that bulwark has been heavily breached in any number of ways: posts left vacant for prolonged periods resulting in a variety. of unsettling stop-gap arrangements, recruitment by favouritism or the app l ication of certain narrow geographical criteria to the detriment of specific skill requirements, absence of concern for orderly succession the by-passing of the established hierarchy via parallel 'cohorts of llco-ordinatorsn shadowy advisers and grey emin e nces, junior officials invested with mysterious personal powers, consultants foisted onto divisions which have neither asked for them nor know how to employ them, arbitrary promotions, temporary situations never regularised and so on. As a result, profess i onal functionalism and its derived lines of authority, upon which the running of the bureaucratic apparatus necessarily reposes have been increasingly undermined, at first exhibiting localised stresses but more recently threatened with overall collapse. T h e exigencies of programming the execution of approved projects and the rendering of normal services have been violated so systematically at all levels that it has indeed become delicate to assess the merits of persons or teams since they are so often in n o position to demonstrate what they can do with their assignments, much less to unfold any potential.

Advancement through periodic performance reporting has thus become exceedingly hazardous. Even deputizing by seniority, normal in every administration, is strewn with paradoxes. Thus, I was relieved of the acting directorship of the Division of International Development of Social Sciences to which J was formally appointed as the senior officer therein, pending recruitment of a director on instructions from yourself in October 19

78. No reason was given at the time, nor could one be ascertained by the Mediator, but I do have it in writing from the Director of Personnel that any conclusion .that this step might have been taken because I was judged incompetent is quaintly "entirely devoid of foundation Evidence which came my way later showed that perfectly irregular manoeuvres had taken place precisely in October 19

78. More or less outrageous situations of comparable and differsnt sorts abound in the House. T hey often affect that generation of veteran functionaries of which I am a member. Indeed, one could be pardoned for concluding that a special animus exists against us precisely because of our experience, the lessons we have absorbed from it and our conseq u ent preference for' cumulated wisdom over dubious "innovations" often easily recognizable .as past errors resurrected. I propose to illustrats the process of despoliation through the wilful destruction of professionalism at both the level of programming a n d that of programme execution, The destruction of professionalism: programming page 3 In the preparation of the Second Medium-Term Plan, though t was not an unprecedented exercise, a full year was lost. in a multiplicity of intra-Secretariat consultations the interpretation of ambiguous instructions and the writing and rewriting of texts along confused lines. Only after all this water had been. poured into e sieve was the idea of Major Projects launched at all, their number and delimination remaining uncer t ain to the eleventh hour. Within the Sector of Social Sciences, the drafting of the texts notably for Major Projects V1.4, v1.5, VLII, XU and XIIl, was hastily accomplished principally by a hand-picked caucus (excluding the majority of division directors a nd programme specialists gathered around the Acting Assistant Directoffieneral and the Chief of the Co-ordination and Evaluation Unit. The resulting material thus reflected no broad participation of the Sector's staff (let alone drawing on the consultativ e or advisory mechanisms specifically requested under 6 (c) and (e) of General Resolution 3/0.1 I1 adopted by the 20th General Conference) even before it was further manipulated. The most prominent reaction against these methods was the resignation of the Director and two other officers of the Division of Human Rights and Peace Many extremely questionable passages occur throughout the final texts while entire areas of activity successfully pursued for years are totally omitted.

Thus, the haphazard list of d isciplines supposedly deserving of special attention in 4XC/4 paragraphs 6088-6096 caused forseeably widespread puzzlement at the Extraordinary Session of the General Conference in 1982, and again at the 22nd Session of the General Conference in 1983, at. both of which it was defended as unpersuasively as it had been invented. On the other hand, an entire set of projects involving four professional and six general service posts, with a budget of nearly 650,000 in 1981-83, including the Social Science Docum e ntation Centre, relations with certain NGOs and a set of activities under former Objective 10.1, linked to the General Information Programme and concerning socio-economic date and information, for which I used to hold broad supervisory responsibilities bu t on which I was never consulted during programming, quite simply vanished from the Medium-Term Plan. Partly reestablished in 22 C/5, paragraphs 06453 and 06450-1 as a result of pressing later representations, these elements constitute an inconsistency bet w een the Medium-Term Plan and the Approved Programme and Budget for 1984-85 Beyond 'such details what is striking about that part of the hlediumTerm Plan which I feel qualified to assess' is its massive failure to resort to the collective memory of an Orga n ization which, over a generation of existence has, after all accumulated a wealth of data and background. In conformity with 21 C/5 Resolution 100 calling for an analysis of global problems, Member States surely had a right to expect that the introduction s to the Major Programmes and Sub-Programmes would be based on docgmented evidence carefully drawn from Unesco'sown unique storehouses an5 thus represent an authoritative conspectus and perspective in the relevant domains, expertly assembled and compelling in their appeal to the world community- of specialists. Instead, many texts read as if Unesco had been afflicted with collective amnesia: sentences are artlessly' stitched together with a careful gye to low common denominators, the elaboration of self-can c elling platitudes and the enunciation of unsubstantiated assertions. Such blandly mediocre rhetoric possesses little edge, nor does it articulate convincingly with the objectives and principles of action. An amateurish presentation of this calibre can har d ly command respect in informed circles nor does it attest to a marshalling of the Secretariat's available resources 0 4 As for the draft programme and budget for 1984-85 it was initially prepared tn the Social Science Sector in an atmosphere of c y nical hilarity. In pursuit of encouragement from yourself, all its members were to advance "imaginative suggestions withjn the loose framework of the Second Medium-Term Plan in any sphere at all in which the social sciences might remotely be implicated, i r respective of professional specialisation, as of divisional demarcations and hierarchies, in a spirit of alleged "interdisciplinarity The resulting scramble resembled a riotous auction in which each participant throws miscellaneous heirlooms up for sale i n the hope of attracting fabulous bids, with wild speculation on budgets sometimes running into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Naturally, such demagogic disregard for orderly procedure, continuity and rigour led to an utterly heterogeneous submission wh i ch ultimately had to be revised from beginning to end outside the Sector. At one stage I was asked, as a trained economist, to draft a project relating to the world economy for insertion into Major Programme VIII. The text I supplied after consultation wi t h external specialists, was wholly rejected. That which appears in paras. 08117-08122 of 22 C/S in its place (with which I had nothing to do) has been singled out for public criticism and is proving an embarrassment to the non governmental association spe c ifically mentioned as jointly responsible for its implementation, as much for its naivet6 as for its risible pretentions. Little wonder then, that the debate in the relevant Programme Commissions of the 22nd General Conference was lack-lustre. The delegat e s were clearly discouraged by the quality of what was put before them The destruction of professionalism: project execution As the editor of the ISSJ I have been in a favourable position elso to observe the process of professional decay at levels of progr a mme execution. A periodical is clearly an eminently collaborative product. Within the Secretariat appropriate performance is required not only from the editorial team but also from the common translation, production and promotion services which together r epresent the publishing arm of the Organization. When 1 took over the editorship in 1963, the periodical had already acquired a sound reputation as a scholarly platform in the years since its inception in 19

48. What 1 thus inherited I was able to develop and extend. Circulation roughly doubled between 1965 and the mid-1970s; in 1973 selections in Arabic began to come out from Cairo, later from Tunis; a full Spanish edition began in 1978 and in 1983 I was happy to negotiate the initiation of a full edition in Chinese, appearing from Beijing since the beginning of this year.

Translations of material drawn from the ISSJ have appeared as books in 11 languages a distinguished panel of correspondents stationed in 18 locations around the world collaborates on a c ontinuing basis with the editorial staff and I have had the satisfaction of receiving unsolicited compliments on the consistent quality and interest of issues from members of the Executive Board, delegates to the General Conference, readers and contributo r s of the most diverse origins It would seem therefore, that the ISSJ displeys the hallmerks of-a Cesiiable C'nesco-product HOW has this product fared within the Secretariat? Throughout the vicissitudes of fortune, to which the former Social Science Depart m ent has been subject, its ektwhile incorporation as a junior partner in the Sector for Social Sciences, Human Sciences and Culture, its reestablishment as an independent if ill-assorted Sector by yourself in 1975, very modest budgetary and staff resources at best, great leadership instability, a multiplicity of tiny divisions, and chronic uncertainty of purpose, the ISSJ continued to represent its principal linkage with the world scholarly community. Hence, with the encouragement of hlr. R.

Stavenhagen as Assistant Directol-General, the initiative was teken to increase periodicity from four to six issues a year as announced in the Approved Programme and Budget for the 1981-1983 triennium, para. 3067 with a proportionately increased budgetary allocation. Ve r y early in 1981, however, the Sector was informed page 5 unequivocally that the technical services were unable to handle 8 bi-monthly, which surely should have been clarified before the proposal was ever submitted to the General Conference in Belgrade As w as to turn out, this was but the beginning of a whole syndrome of further frustrations. Basic editorial autonomy and day-to-day functioning were increasingly obstructed under the Acting Assistant Director-Generalship of Mrs. Zala N'Kanza whose erratically conspiratorial style was infamous in United Nations circles long before her appointment at Unesco. Her deficient grasp of how to run projects coupled' with harassment on minor quasi-legalistic niceties which she mistakes for higher policy conduct have ali e nated the Sector's professional staff to such a degree that nearly one quarter has resigned or obtained transfers in the disastrous two years and a half over which she has been allowed to devastate it. It would be manifestly unfair if the Sector had to pa y for misgoverning by dissolution.

Elsewhere, the going proved hardly smoother. Translation and production services have declined greatly in quality and punctuality. Delays of up to three months (for a quarterly in the appearance of ISSJ issues have become chronic while acrimonious disputes about financing have arisen. Promotion is at a practical standstill; even promising campaigns started have been cancelled. All of which is not inexplicable for production and promotion demand punctilious forward plannin g which is constantly upset by unforeseen priorities and manpower bottlenecks, both having depended for support on the Publications Fund into which all revenue from sales is. fed. Only a few years ago, the Fund boasted assets running into several million d o llars It is now in heavy deficit As a result, publications are suffering and the circulations of periodicals are dropping. Thus, the Chinese edition of the ISSJ acquired 4,800 paying subcribers before the first number even appeared, roughly the same as wo r ldwide subscriptions to the English, Spanish and French editions combined after no less than 35 years of publication. Here is a quantified measure of Unesco's promotional effort which I quote deliberately since, in the prolix reporting documentation put o ut, there has always been notable reticence about revealing the sales and circulation statistics for non-periodi cal and periodical publications.

While Unesco is not a commercial firm, it is obliged to operate in highly crowded and competitive markets for attention to the messages carried by its publications; the real impact achieved should therefore surely be of primary concerri especially since an Organization which so actively promulgates a New Information and Communication Order would appear to have a d uty to set an example through the optimal diffusion of its own, presumably model alternative output. Yet, the ISSJ's modest circulation remains concentrated in North America and Western Europe. It is larger in South Africa than in several populous and cla m orous Member States.And the flow xf complaints from- dissatisfied subscribers everywhere is mounting. 1 am simply mortified to edit a periodical for which the public is paying twice over once indirectly to support the Organization, once directly to subscr i be only to be supplied inadequately. Despite these failures properly to support an existing periodical the Second Medium-Term Plan jocularly announces (in paragraph 6087) that "the publication of other similar journals will be envisaged, with a view to st r engthening international intellectual collaboration Directors, some of whom cannot direct, while others, who could, are paralysed f-cbr;yielding centralization of power, programme specialists whose expert advice is ignored, financial and administrative of f icials whose attempts to apply the rulespage 6 are regularly overridden, technicians deprived of tools, secretaries enervated by recurrent panics, running after multiple visas for routine correspondence, antiquated equipment the Secretariat is et sixes an d sevens. Managerial practices contravene the most elementary principles recommended, for example, at the very human relations, efficiency and decision-making courses organized from time to time by the Bureau of Personnel for the benefit of staff members. h loreover, a recent statistical study confirms that both the age pyramid and the distribution of professional staff amongst grades are heavily weighted towards the to The Secretariat is an army of colonels into which too little invigorating young blod is b e ing drawn. That the selfsame regime under which all this has happened shoulc now under duress come forward as an active agent of reform by "re-structuration and the re-deployment of human resources must strain the credulity of many The Secretariat as a cr e ative force 1 am conscious that the foregoing accumulation of cases could be dismiswt as obscuring the wood with a mass of trees. Do not many collectivities suffer from comparable ailments and is not Unesco particularly difficult to govern? Both the Mediu m -Term Plan and the current Programme and Budget ,have, after alz been adopted by the Member States. Deeper currents than those agitating'the staff or attaching to the Organization's performance in specific instances conveee into the crisis which it is cur r ently traversing I Granted. But to argue dong such lines in my view, is to miss the wider significance. of a perspective from the working level within the Secretariat (ant notably from one of its most troubled corners) which I have attempted, however summ a rily and inadequately, to sketch out. For it is surely the purpose of the Secretariat to shape into a greater whole those elements which are collected by it or converge upon it, to add-value to them. Unless value is added, what is the point in having a la rge permanent establishment at all? A skeleton occasion staff could service the mere enunciation and exchange of views by Member States These, however, rightly expect much more from a Secretariat which tbey finence.

They extend faith for. perspicacity in p rogramming, given the heavy mechmisrx of exemining and approving the drafts submitted; they assume that what is promise will really be delivered. Manifest shortfalls in these respect.s are widely deplore causing sharp disappointments which partly explain a nger in quarters norm&E well-disposed to Unesco's aims Much has been made of consensus, yet ironically the pursuit of this xirt at all costs and in all directions hes led Unesco into the most divisive confrontaticr experienced by any of the United, h'atio n s' Specialised Agencies. Nor is tt2 inexplicable. While certain overarching values attaching to .education, science and culture (values which are preached but by no means. regularly honoured by Unesco) unite those who pursue such enterprises devotedly the y do not, of course preclude a wide variety of concrete approaches and solutions from existing ir different contexts. Occulting or attempting superficially to amalgamate tkr instead of realistically acknowledging well-founded differences and working m-kr t hem has led to disembodied' programming and careless project execution. Variatiors are not infinite; much could be done through the derivation of operational typologies.

Unesco cannot cure every ill or please every constituency all the time, but it does not seem foolishly utopian to believe that a soundly recruited pool of internationd talent, perceptively led and applying itself intelligently to selected major iss=les co u ld provide dymanic approaches towards a stepbystep solution of existing problems, intractable as they appear to be A demoralised Secretariat, forced into the unrewarding role of cr overwhelmingly ambitious Jack-of-all-trades is a poor instrument for any p u rpse. .I 8 I page 7 If reconstruction leads through unflinching priority for e purified programme, the avoidance 'of easy opportunism and striving after excellence in certain carefully identified areas, as I consider it must, it also means a revival of th e Secretariat as e creatively co-operative community. And that, in turn, requires the healing of the wounds left not only by despoliation and the destruction of professionalism but also the reestablishment of confidence amongst a staff atomized by suspicio n and fear. For if shared striving after higher common goals is the cement of collegial solidarity its dissolvant is assuredly the classically colonialist stratagem of dividing in order to rule. The signs that this stratagem has been applied are many, from the deficient flow of reliable information allowing busy rumour-mills to substitute for formal guidance to the erection of bureaucracy as an end-in-itself to justify the absorption of employees to "control" substantive functions, and from the award of ver y short-term contracts making for insecurity in the expectation of extracting loyalty" in return to the transparently sponsored establishment of a rival staff association pathetically anxious to apologise for the status quo hluch moral capital accumulated t hrough past successes has been squandered ax! Unesco's image is in tatters, the worst profligacy being perbaps default in maintaining and handing on a repository of skill and knowledge to serve education science and culture globally. Unable to discern how I can make further valid contributions in the prevailing arid climate, I join those who have preceded me in their search for more fertile territory. If these reflections, offered after many years of service, cai modestly contribute towards the reshaping o f an Organization which I feel obliged, with keen regret, to leave I shall nevertheless consider myself richly rewerded.

In this spirit, I remain C.C. Unesco Staff Association (STA).


Edward L.